5 inspiring homepage designs and why they work
Your homepage is the first impression your business makes. As you may know, research showss you have between 10 and 20 seconds to make that first impression and, if it isn’t favourable, your potential customer has gone and may never return.
So, there are a few things that a homepage must do, if it is going to be a useful selling tool for your business.
Once you’ve got your potential customers’ eyeballs on your site, you need to engage their interest so, here’s our guide to the ingredients you need to create that recipe for success:
Branding: You need your logo to be front and centre and the style of your homepage needs to reflect the style and philosophy of your company.
Navigation: It must be easy to navigate for people who are first-time visitors to your site. So, clear menus are a must.
Call to action (or CTA): There needs to be an easy-to-understand reason to engage with or respond to your company and an unmistakable method for doing that. Successful CTAs can include:
● Click here for a discount on your first order
● Subscribe and I will send you a free eBook
● Sign up for exclusive members-only content
● Click here to get a quote
● Call for more information about what we can do for you
The trick with an effective CTA is to use the one that works the best for your business. It might require experimentation to find that out.
Now you can get into the nuts and bolts of the design of your homepage.
Think about the message you want every visual element of your homepage to communicate to your users in those few seconds you have to grab their attention.
Some of the design fundamentals you need to take into account are:
Logo and colour palette: The style and colours of your logo should represent your business and your homepage needs to complement them. But, don’t be limited by this, you could employ a wider colour palette – possibly involving contrasting colours.
Font: Your font is part of your visual brand, just as much as your logo. A clear and contemporary font will communicate one type of message about you, while something more elegant or classic will communicate something else. Either way, your font absolutely needs to be clear and easy to read.
Layout: Potential customers need to understand your business almost immediately and you can help them to do that through the clarity of your homepage’s layout. The balance of text and images, the use of space, the prioritisation and placement of logo, text and images, these can all play a part in how potential customers understand and appreciate your homepage.
Images: In terms of first impressions, the images you use are important. The content needs to keep people engaged and persuade them to trust your company with their business, but they won’t settle down to read your content if the images haven’t grabbed their interest.
Okay, so now we have an understanding of the ingredients a successful homepage needs, let's look at some examples of those elements being mixed together in successful and inspiring ways.
Homepage #1: Slack
Slack is a business communication platform for direct and group messaging. It offers various IRC-style chat options, including chat rooms organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. The tool was originally developed by the video-game production company, Tiny Speck, for its own internal use. The name is an acronym for Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge.
The professional-looking homepage works because it understands the priorities of its users. Business people will visit Slack’s homepage and they will want a clear, easy-to-navigate experience that values their time. As such, the big ‘Get Started’ button is a great incentive to do just that.
The strap-line “Slack is where work happens” is a message business people want to hear and, of course, the ‘Try For Free’ CTA is compelling.
Homepage #2: BBC
The BBC homepage is a constantly evolving thing. It is also huge - this isn’t a single website but, rather, a network of websites. How does one navigate so many different departments from one page?
The BBC’s solution is elegant and simple - to create silos and a search bar. The navigation along the top couldn’t be clearer - it divides up its content into the different motives its users have for visiting. The content on the page then reflects this, leading with the news headlines, followed by some human interest stories which, cunningly, disappear under the fold, encouraging you to scroll.
Homepage #3: Skyline Films
Skyline Films is a London-based consultancy and production firm for the film and TV industry. Its portfolio website employs a wonderfully simple interface, designed to work equally well on computer and mobile device screens. You simply drag the images around to see footage from the many films they have worked on.
Once you’ve had fun scrolling, you can go over to the traditional menu button, top right, and learn more about the company.
Homepage #4: Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula
Mark Dawson is a writer who runs a successful micro-business. He self-publishes his thriller novels and markets them through Amazon and Facebook. He has proven so good at this that he also teaches other writers how to do the same and thus was born a second business, that of an online marketing guru.
This homepage works because potential customers are interested in Mark Dawson, the author. Hence, he features a nice big photo of himself, alongside his irresistible strap-line “Make a living with your writing” and his CTA which offers free eBooks and videos. The meat of the content is below the fold, just a scroll away.
Any micro-business or one-person-band can learn from this.
Homepage #5: Help for Heroes
Charities, like any business, need to create impactful messages and CTAs. The only real difference is, instead of selling you a product or service, a charity is selling you some peace of mind, or the knowledge that you’re helping to make the world a better place.
At their best, charities create a sense of community. Help for Heroes is, as it says on the homepage, Britain’s “leading charity for the armed forces community”. It’s all about people helping other people; so, their homepage leads with photos of people and offers you three very simple CTAs. There’s the obligatory ‘Donate’ button, of course, but also two ways for people to get more involved through their ‘Give Support’ and ‘Get Support’ navigation. Simplicity really is best.
Who is hosting your homepage?
WordPress offers a wide range of template designs, including some fantastic homepage options which have clarity and effectiveness built in.
Here at tsoHost, our WordPress hosting packages are optimised to make your WordPress websites and blogs as fast, secure and reliable as possible. That’s why more than 600,000 people have relied on us to get them online. Our plans also come with perks, like free domain names. So, why not make tsoHost the home for your homepage?